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Approximately 30% of all families in Canada report experiencing difficulty covering necessary expenses such as food, heating, and rent since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Families in Saskatchewan are not immune to the ongoing financial hardships.
Fortunately, the Saskatchewan Provincial Government offers many family welfare and benefit programs. To help Saskatchewan residents through these difficult times, we have provided this comprehensive guide to the available family benefits programs in Saskatchewan and how to utilize them.
The Saskatchewan Provincial Government has a robust financial assistance program for various disadvantaged individuals and groups. These groups include families experiencing financial challenges, including families with or without kids. Notably, families and individuals within the family unit can qualify for several of these welfare programs.
Here is an overview of five of the biggest and most popular family welfare and benefits programs in Saskatchewan:
You can learn more about each of these benefits by clicking on the links listed above. Here is a more detailed overview of two of the easiest programs to access among these: Saskatchewan Income Support (SIS) and Saskatchewan Low-Income Tax Credit (SLITC).
The Saskatchewan Income Support (SIS) program offers financial aid to the unemployed and those earning low incomes. It is worth noting that this program is available to everyone, including individuals and families.
The amount of financial aid you can get via the SIS program ultimately depends on your employment status: whether or not you are employed and how much you make. Other factors that affect the amount available to you include:
The SIS program offers dozens of benefits to qualifying applicants. Here is a brief overview of each benefit and what it entails:
|Type of Benefit||Purposes||Amount|
· To cater for expenses such as food and clothing.
· Available to parents who are not eligible for the Canada Child Benefit program.
· Available only on a short-term basis.
· The applicant must be actively seeking employment or going to job interviews.
|Shelter||To pay for shelter-related costs, including rent, mortgage, and utilities.||
· $575/month for singles in Regina ($525 outside Regina).
· $750/month for couples without dependent children in Regina ($650 outside Regina).
· $975/month for families with one or two dependent children in Regina ($750 outside Regina).
· $1,150 for families with three or more dependent children in Regina ($850 outside Regina).
|Household Health & Safety||
· To set up a new residence after a disaster or because of interpersonal violence.
· To replace household items lost or damaged after a disaster or case of interpersonal violence.
|A single payment of up to $500.|
|Stabilization||Available for people who cannot maintain stable housing.||$150/month.|
|Short-Term Emergency Assistance||Emergency (unforeseen) situations that would likely result in harm if the payment wasn’t made.||Varies depending on the situation.|
· To cover transport costs when travelling outside the community for job interviews.
· Can also cover the cost of food, shelter, and other related expenses.
|Varies depending on the situation.|
|Alternate Heating Benefit||To buy alternative heating solutions for households without access to natural gas.||$130/month.|
|Prescribed Diet Benefit||To purchase food for people with medical conditions that require special diets.||$50 - $150 per month.|
|Employment & Training Benefit||To cover the costs of enrolling into a new training program or starting a new career.||$140/month.|
To help cover relocation and moving costs due to factors such as:
· Evictions for reasons beyond your control.
· Starting a job outside the community.
· Health and other uncontrollable emergencies.
· Finding a more affordable or secure place to live.
|$200 - $300 depending on your household’s size and the moving distance.|
|Security Deposit||For up-front funds required to rent a home||Can equal the amount available in shelter benefits.|
|Funeral Benefits||To cover funeral expenses for a family member||The amount varies depending on the situation.|
The Saskatchewan low-income tax credit (SLITC) is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency on behalf of the Saskatchewan Provincial Government. It is tax-free financial aid available to residents making low-to-modest incomes. Here is an overview of the amounts available for the 2021-2022 period:
As such, the maximum total amount that one household with two kids can receive is $972 per month. The amount of money available in aid ultimately depends on the household’s income. On that note, households that make less than $32,986 per month are eligible for full benefits, while those making between $32,986 and $68,330 are eligible for partial benefits. It is also worth noting that these payments are also combined with the quarterly federal GST credit payments.
The Cognitive Disability Strategy (CDS) Support is meant to provide healthcare and financial assistance to people living with various disabilities. The benefits are accessible to the disabled beneficiaries and their families.
The healthcare benefits derived from the CDS program entail free and affordable access to professional cognitive disability consultants. These consultants can diagnose the person living with a disability and recommend efficient behavioural support plans.
On the other hand, the financial benefits derived from the CDS program entail financial assistance to help isabled individuals and their families pay for unmet needs. The amount of money available in financial assistance depends on factors such as the family’s gross income and the condition’s severity.
The CDS program is available only to people living with a disability. As such, applicants must prove that they are suffering from a diagnosable disability, whether mental or physical. The disability must also be long-term, except in cases of acquired brain injuries.
Applicants must also prove that they have an unmet need that they can solve with some financial assistance. The individual and their family may also be required to provide documents such as their pay stubs because the financial assistance is income-tested.
Qualifying applicants can apply for CDS benefits by downloading and filling the program’s application form and sending it to a cognitive disability consultant. Family members can also complete and submit these forms on behalf of the applicant.
Many studies show that the financially disadvantaged people in society mostly use public transport to get to work. The Discounted Buss Pass Program offers beneficiaries affordable access to the city’s public transport system. The goal is to help beneficiaries get to work and make a living, hopefully lifting them out of their current financial positions.
This program offers beneficiaries discounted bus rides on limited range of municipal buses. Eligible applicants must also meet the requirements set for the following benefits programs:
Qualifying applicants can purchase discounted bus passes at their local public transit office. Applicants will be required to show proof that they are beneficiaries of one or more of the benefits programs listed above.
Low-income families in Saskatchewan are also eligible for a range of health benefits. Eligible families must be beneficiaries of the Saskatchewan Employment Supplement (SES) and must pass the set standards for an income test.
The available family health benefits vary between children and parents. The parents are eligible for $100 semi-annual deductible drug coverage and 35% consumer co-payments. They are also eligible for one eye examination every two years. Children are eligible for the following medical benefits:
All beneficiaries will be required to present their Saskatchewan Health Services card whenever they access healthcare services for the benefits to be applied. It is also worth noting that parents and legal guardians can also apply for more coverage via the Special Support Program.
The process of applying for family benefits varies depending on factors such as the benefits program and the type of benefits. As mentioned, you can click on each of the programs’ links to go to their official platforms where you can learn everything about them, including how the application process works. Here is a general overview of the various programs’ application requirements and channels.
Most programs require applicants to provide the following documents and details:
It is worth noting that you have only 30 days since the date of posting your application to provide these and any other required details and documents. It is important to provide all the requested details and documents and ensure that they are accurate to avoid disqualification.
Different family benefits programs offer several methods through which beneficiaries can send their applications.
Submitting your application via mail involves downloading the program form, printing it out as a hardcopy, and mailing it to its respective program. The form should be filled correctly for easier and faster processing. It is worth noting applications made via mail may take several days or weeks longer to process compared to applications made online.
Every family benefits program in Canada has a fully functional website via which users can do everything, including making their applications. To this end, the list of family benefits programs above features corresponding links to each program.
The online application process varies from one benefits program to another. However, most online applications have several things in common, including:
Many programs will also let you monitor and track your application’s progress. It is important to securely store your login credentials as you will need them to access your online accounts in the future.
You and your family may be eligible for family benefits in Saskatchewan if you meet the following requirements:
All programs also advise their beneficiaries to exhaust all other avenues before making their applications. However, you can also get benefits from multiple programs simultaneously (but you must indicate it on your application form).
Family is the most important thing in life. The Canadian federal government, Saskatchewan provincial government, and several non-governmental organizations offer vulnerable families the financial assistance they need to stick and grow together. The programs covered in this article are among some of the most accessible ones. You can find a comprehensive range of resources on family benefits on the government’s official portal, and when these resources aren't sufficient you can still turn to loans in Saskatchewan with My Canada Payday. We offer loans of up to $1,500 and income derived from benefit programs like CPP is eligible.